Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
Rita Gerlach lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains, amid Civil War battlefields and Revolutionary War outposts in central Maryland. She has published three historical novels, and is editor of Stepping Stones Magazine, an online website focused on marketing, and the promotion of writers. Her fourth book, Surrender the Wind, an inspirational historical romance set in Virginia and England, is due to be released from Abingdon Press in August 2009.
Visit her website at http://ritagerlach.com/
JA: Congratulations on being part of the Abingdon Press fiction launch. How does it feel to be striking out on such a grand adventure?
RG: Honestly, there have been times when I wanted someone to pinch me and wake me up. Being part of Abingdon’s fiction launch has been exciting and even though I’ve published three previous books through a pod publisher, I feel this is my first ‘real’ break. I feel so honored to have had Surrender the Wind chosen to be one of the books in the launch.
JA: Surrender the Wind is set during the American Revolution. What drew you to this period in history?
RG: The novel begins with a prologue on the day of the battle of Yorktown, then later moves to the post-war era. I think I’ve always had a romantic soul for days long ago. It is not the fashions, the modes, the historical dates and famous names that have intrigued me. What draws me to eras like the Georgian or Federal periods is how differently people lived, how the majority had strong faith, that men believed that their word was their bond, and that love and family were of greater significance than today.
JA: What would you say is the main theme of your book?
RG: It is two-fold. Inside the cover, readers will find this verse from Ecclesiastes 2:18-19. "I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless."
It is pretty much self-explanatory that we are on this earth a short time, and when the curtain is closing, everything we’ve labored for we must leave behind to others. In the story, Seth has inherited his grandfather’s estate in faraway England. His grandfather, Benjamin Braxton, changes his will at the last moment, and ponders the significance of all his labor and hopes that Seth will wisely use this inheritance for the good of his family.
The second part of the theme is reflected in the title. I chose this title carefully. I wanted it to really wrap up in three words what my main characters lived through and learned from their adversity. Wind represents their struggles, trials, and hardships, a force that battered them mercilessly. When we experience grief, pain, and rejection, surrendering all to Him who is able to help us through it, is the only way of finding peace and healing.
JA: What do you hope people take away when they finish reading Surrender the Wind?
RG: That when everything is said and done, in the end it all turns out all right. Love is the cohesive bond that helps us to face adversity. The message of Surrender the Wind is wrapped up in fidelity and forgiveness, and the surrendering to our Creator those winds that shove and batter us. I also hope they simply feel satisfied, and that they love this story so much they will keep the book on their bookshelf for many years.
JA: What's next for you in the writing arena?
RG: I have a file with several book ideas. Forgive me for not giving away the storylines. I am currently writing another novel entitled Beside Two Rivers and have a goal of being finished by October. Once my proposal is written I’ll submit it for publication.
JA: Tell us a bit about your online magazine, Stepping Stones.
RG: Stepping Stones started out as an e-newsletter for writers with lots of information, ideas, links, and so forth, pertaining to marketing. It then developed into a website/blog format and is now for both writers and readers. I’m doing more features on book releases, which interest readers.
JA: The current theme of my blog is The Year of Dreams. If you could realize one life-long dream right now, what would it be?
RG: Ah, to be as thin as I was when I was 21. But that may never happen, so I have to move on to other dreams. I’ve always had the desire to go to England and Scotland. My dream vacation there, with my hubby of course, would be to rent a car and travel the rural areas, stay at bed and breakfasts, visit castles and manor house, and take a month or an entire summer to do it.
JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
RG: The best way is to visit my website at http://ritagerlach.com/
Thanks for this interview, Jennifer. It was a pleasure and an honor.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A patriot of the American Revolution struggles with his loyalty to his country when he inherits his grandfather's estate in faraway England. Upon his arrival in Devonshire, he meets and falls in love with Juleah, the daughter of an eccentric landed gentleman. Amid the joys of new love, Seth and Juleah face tragedy and trial. A nephew is believed dead. A woman is found murdered in the woods. And most heartbreaking of all, Seth is told Juleah has perished in a fire. What is the truth behind these tragedies? One man holds the answer --- one that despises his American enemy for gaining the two things he wanted most --- Ten Width Manor and the woman he desired.
If you would like to read the Prologue of Surrender The Wind, go HERE
Watch the trailer:
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Surrender the Wind, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on August 31st. (NOTE: I can only take entries on this one for those who live in the United States. Thanks for your understanding!) Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!